Archive for August 10, 2017

New OECD Report: Promising Practices in Supporting Success for Indigenous Students

On Wednesday, August 9th, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the OECD released a new report: Promising Practices in Supporting Success for Indigenous Students

The report tracks strategies used in 6 Canadian provinces and territories, as well as Australia and New Zealand, to prioritize success for Indigenous students.

While some of these areas are making progress, there is still a lot of work to be done to make a marked difference in the lives of Indigenous children and youth.

The report emphasizes the importance of quality early childhood education, forging strong relationships with Indigenous leaders and communities, and supporting teachers in developing cultural competence.

A summary of the report was compiled by Andreas Schleicher on the OECD blog.

The Professional Library has some resources to help educators continue this work and provide a positive educational experience for Indigenous students:

We also carry material to help educators teach about the experiences and traditions of Indigenous peoples:


August 10, 2017 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

OLA Forest Kid Committee Summer Reading List: A Day of Signs and Wonders

The ninth in our blog series on the OLA Forest Kid Committee Summer Reading List. Selected by kids for kids, the list has 20 great books for students grades 5 through 8. Follow along on the blog as I attempt to profile as many books on the list as I can before the school year starts up again.
Next up is A Day of Signs and Wonders by Kit Pearson

The Haiku Review

Bold and brash strokes / Meeting cool watercolours / Signs of what’s to come

Major Players

  • Emily, future artist Emily Carr who loves animals, playing outside and hates wearing pinafores
  • Kitty, also known as Kathleen O’Reilly, Emily’s prim and proper neighbour who unexpectedly invites her over for the day

One-Sentence Summary
When a young Emily Carr unexpectedly runs into neighbour Kitty O’Reilly one morning, the two girls decide to spend the day together, and learn important lessons of friendship and respect, both for each other and themselves.  

Historical Backstory
Using the publications and diaries of the real life Emily Carr and Kathleen O’Reilly, Kit Pearson imagines what would have happened if the two girls — and actual neighbours — met. She also provides some more information at the novel’s end of her protagonists’ future.

Kid List Connections
A Day of Signs and Wonders is set during the same time period as Maud, although on the other side of Canada. Both books are written in a similar tone and address themes of female friendship.

Quick Quotes
“Before Kitty could say more, Emily had dipped her brush in the water and then onto a cake of paint. Kitty watched in astonishment as Emily rapidly painted the boats, boathouse, wharf, water, and sky in bold strokes, her brush darting from colour to colour without being cleaned in between” (p. 61).

What’d I think?

8/10 ravens named George
A Day of Signs and Wonders is a beautiful little sketch of a single day in the lives of two young girls. The story feels as airy and ethereal as the watercolour paintings the two girls make early in the book. Kit Pearson does a nice job depicting the girls’ contrasting personalities. I also appreciated the realistic depiction of mental health. Both protagonists, Kitty and Emily, grapple with complicated emotions and it’s nice to see young girls who aren’t always feeling happy and behaving the “proper” way. A lovely introduction to the life of Emily Carr and an interesting case study in integrity, and how decisions you make when you’re young can impact your later self.

Check out the other posts in this series:

August 10, 2017 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

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